Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

LaTroy Hawkins didn’t fit the Mets’ budget, so what does that say about this offseason?

LaTroy Hawkins (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
LaTroy Hawkins (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

LaTroy Hawkins agreed to a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Colorado Rockies last night according to multiple reports.

According to USA Today‘s Bob Nightengale, the deal is actually structured as a $2.25 million contract for 2014, plus a $2.25 million option for 2015 with a $250,000 buyout.

I’d say “good for LaTroy Hawkins” and leave it at that, except that the New York Mets kept telling everyone that they wanted to bring Hawkins back and the Daily NewsKristie Ackert reports “the Rockies’ offer ‘blew away,’ an offer the Mets made.”

Just how much did the Mets expect to pay him, anyway?

Hawkins did a very nice job out of the bullpen for the Mets in 2013, even serving as a reliable closer over the season’s final two months after Bobby Parnell was injured. But he will be 41 years old next season, and I wouldn’t say it’s a safe bet to expect him to duplicate his performance.

Still, $2.5 million is not a very big commitment in the fantasy world of Major League Baseball payrolls.

To a certain extent, all relief pitchers present a certain risk when predicting year-to-year performance. And Sandy Alderson is going to have to find someone else to fill Hawkins’ setup role and serve as the team’s closer at the beginning of the season if Parnell has not fully recovered from neck surgery to correct a herniated disc.

Unless he looks strictly at in-house options and minor league free agents, Alderson is going to have to find a couple of million – maybe more – to pay a relief pitcher. A Major League Baseball team in 2013 should not be in a position where a $2.5 million contract is a big deal, yet that’s where the Mets are.

Buy your Opening Day tickets and get excited about the 2014 spring training schedule, everyone.

 

Posted in Uncategorized

Baseball is back

Wilmer Flores Topps 100 insert card from the 2010 Bowman baseball card set
Wilmer Flores’ Topps 100 insert card from the 2010 Bowman baseball card set

It’s 37 degrees outside as I write this and I saw a few snow flurries on the way home, but there was baseball in Port St. Lucie, Fla. this afternoon.

The Mets beat the Mets by the score of 6-2. Wilmer Flores (who almost certainly will not be a Met on Opening Day) hit a three-run homer off of LaTroy Hawkins (who, today at least, would have fit in perfectly with last year’s Mets bullpen).

Tomorrow there will be more baseball, with the Mets taking on the Washington Nationals in a game televised on SNY.

So that’s all good.

The Mets being the Mets, we also get some not-so-good.

  • Johan Santana (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)
    Johan Santana (Photo credit: Paul Hadsall)

    Johan Santana has a “general lack of strength” and might not be ready for his Opening Day assignment on April 1. Guess it’s a good thing he’s not going to play in the World Baseball Classic, right? The Mets are calling it a “conditioning issue,” so it’s nothing to worry about… probably. (Not that worrying ever did any good anyway.)

  • Pedro Feliciano went back to New York for a follow-up medical exam related to an issue with his bloodwork. Hopefully it’s nothing serious, but there’s a big problem if his absence affects the team. Who counts on a guy who last pitched in the major leagues three years ago?
  • Signed Bobby Bonilla 1993 Studio card from my collection
    Signed Bobby Bonilla 1993 Studio card from my collection

    The whole Bobby Bonilla makes more than any of the Mets outfielders” thing just won’t die. Bonilla makes more than Mike Trout will get this year for playing baseball, too. If you’re a baseball player, a baseball player’s agent or a baseball player’s wife, feel free to obsess over their salaries. But it’s time for the rest of us to acknowledge that baseball salaries have next to nothing to do with playing ability.

I don’t really know what to make of this one, but the Baseball Prospectus projections MetsBlog shared today are … interesting. The Mets are supposed to win 80 games and finish in third place. Encouraging, right? Well, Baseball Prospectus thinks that the Washington Nationals will take the division title with 86 wins and Atlanta’s National League team will finish second with 82 wins, so either the whole division is going to end up beating itself up or their projections are kinda screwy.